Alphabet Dating

Someone you’ll end up feeling like you know well from reading about him in this blog, is my right arm, best friend, soul mate and partner in crime, Dave. He’s the light of my life and one day I’ll write about how I met him. Right now though I want to tell you about my latest plans for us…

There are many things Dave and I share. A sense of humour, a love of dogs and peace and quiet. Neither of us are the most sociable of creatures and we’re both content chilling out together at home,  not really saying a lot at all. What is perhaps more important though, is we’re both willing to try anything once….within reason of course!!

It’s rare for me to listen to the radio at the weekend but on my way to the gym last weekend I heard Matt Edmondson on radio 1 talking about alphabet dating. This isn’t something I’ve ever heard of but I LOVE the idea. For those that haven’t heard of it, it pretty much does what it says on the tin – you go on dates that start with each letter of the alphabet from A right through to Z. I’ve told Dave all about it and he seems reasonably into the idea too. We’re going to try to keep it as low cost as possible but also try to make it things we’ve never done before. We’re not the first to do it and there are loads of ideas on the Internet but even so, I’ll blog our experiences here 🙂

So this evening we got to planning our “A” date. So far we’ve got:
African Dining
Aquarium
Arcades
Aeroplane spotting
Art Gallery
Archery (currently my favourite idea)

Any other suggestions on a post card please!*

*or commented on the bottom :mrgreen:

He said yes!!

On the 23rd December I received the call I’d been waiting for. Seeing Paul’s name flash up on my phone sent nerves to my stomach. This was the call I’d spent what had felt like an eternity waiting for. I took myself off into a meeting room and answered Paul’s call. We all know how this part of the story ends because I wouldn’t be writing this blog if he hadn’t said yes! Now all I needed to do was agree a date for my move. Oh and break the news to my parents which to be honest was the scary part! I’ve had a reputation over the years for suggesting things on a whim, without thinking it through and as a consequence, never really following through. The desire in me to move up North though was definitely not a whim though so it was so important for them to take me seriously.

I had someone else I needed to break it to first though. I mentioned in my previous blog that I had a line manager that my relationship was a bit shaky with at the time, and I needed to tell him. Luckily for me the opportunity would be presenting itself that afternoon when I had my end of year review. At the end of my review, he asked me if I had anything else I wanted to discuss, to which I told him I did. This was the first surprise for him and I truly believe he thought I was going to bring up the reasons for why our working relationship had broken down. Imagine the shock on his face when I told him I was relocating! Honestly, it was brilliant watching him trying to keep a straight face, as he asked me the why’s, how’s, when’s etc.

When it came to my parents, I started with my Mum. She’d left home at 18 herself to go and be a holiday rep in Germany and later an Au Pair in Austria, so I knew she’d understand my need to go out into the big wide world on my own, which she did. I hated the thought of my parents keeping secrets from each other but I asked her not to tell my Dad until I was ready to – I knew with my Dad I’d need a plan of action to prove that I’d thought it through, and to just stop him worrying!

It only took me a day to pluck up the courage to tell my Dad so on Christmas Eve I gave him the best Christmas present ever – his daughter was finally moving out!!! He took it surprisingly well – so well that I suspected my Mum might have had something to do with it. I’ve asked her since if she ever told him and she said she hadn’t. It meant a lot to hear that as in all honesty, I never expected my Mum to withhold information, particularly this big, from my Dad. I’ve also since told my Dad that I was surprised by how well he took it, and he says that he could tell how serious I was about it because I never think things through as well as I had for this.

The last people to tell were my brother and sister – my brother, Matt, who is 5 years younger than me, was pretty laid back about it. I don’t suppose it really meant much of an impact on him. My sister, Georgina, who is 3 years younger than me was a different story though! She’d shared a room with me for pretty much 18 years, so her excitement at finally having her own bedroom, and not having to share with as messy an occupant as I am, was something she couldn’t have contained if her life depended on it! I later found out she’d basically mentally redecorated the bedroom and purchased wall paper and everything probably within a month of me telling her I was going!

Finally, I just needed to agree a date. I thought long and hard about it over the Christmas period. I wanted to be there immediately and work had told me they wanted me up there as soon as possible. It wasn’t practical though as after putting all my money into studying I needed to get a little bit of saving behind me and I needed to finish studying. Eventually we agreed a date of 9th April, and it couldn’t come quickly enough

A return journey…

Over the next few months my life changed quite a bit…I moved into my final year of studying, I found out what a toe rag my boyfriend was and by mutual decision we finished things. I didn’t think too much about coming back up North but I did make it clear to my line manager that if anyone was needed to go up there again, I’d want first refusal on going.

My return to the North eventually happened on 1st December 2009. The Bolton office was short on trainers for an induction course and needed someone to come and run a week one. I obviously jumped at the chance as I’d been hoping for a return since my trip 9 months earlier. During my time up there I fell back in love with the place and was as open as I was the last time about how I’d move here if I wasn’t still studying.

Halfway through my third day, two of my colleagues, Deb and Ste, sat me down and talked to me about seriously considering the move. Ste even went as far as to say he had a mate with a spare room going that I could rent out, although I think he was also trying to set me up with said mate!! The more I talked with them the more it seemed like a real possibility that I could make the move work. I was bubbling up with excitement and hope….I really could do this!

Fit to burst, I went to speak with Steph, one of the members of our management team, and now my line manager, about the possibilities of relocating. She asked me to seriously think about what I was doing. I think she was worried I was just a bit giddy about being up North and it was all just a novelty for me! I assured her it really wasn’t but at the time I was only young (just turned 23) and had a bit of a reputation for going on a whim. I guess she wanted me to be certain it was the right thing for me to do.

I returned home on the Friday and began to plan. Could I support myself on my wage? Living alone on my salary, although a good one, would have been impossible in Essex.  Did I want to house share, rent a room or have my own place? I’d shared a room growing up so the appeal to living alone was huge. How would I tell mum and dad? When would I tell them? When could I go? I was due to finish studying in June and was happy to travel back to London for my final few classes and exams. I needed to get some savings behind me too – I didn’t have any money in the bank as anything spare was put into my course fees. Buying a property was out of the question for that reason but I didn’t want that sort of commitment yet anyway.
That week waiting for Steph to call was the longest week ever and when I still hadn’t heard from her I was a state! When I did eventually speak to her I confirmed that it was definitely something I wanted to do and she told me should would put the request into her manager. I didn’t have a great relationship with my own manager at the time, and I worried he would purposely try to block me off of what I wanted to do out of spite, so I wanted to keep it secret from him for the time being.

Paul, Steph’s manager, contacted me on the 15th December to ask me what my reasons were for wanting to move and to then stick it all in an email. Then all I could was wait…